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Lower Deschutes River Management System

What is the Lower Deschutes River Management System (LDRMS)? 

The LDRMS is a natural resource management plan & limited entry permit system designed to protect the river and surrounding natural resources.

How does it work? 

The limited entry system requires that each person on a watercraft or other floating device purchase a Boater Pass, with access restricted to a limited number of boaters on some segments during peak use periods. 

Boater Passes 
Required year-round for day and overnight use for each person on a watercraft/floating device for transport on the Lower Deschutes River from Pelton Dam to Moody Island rapids near I-84 and the Columbia River. 
Tribal Permits​
Needed per person if launching or landing, even if for only a brief moment, at either Harpham Flat or Sandy Beach. 

Moody Island Boater Pass/Permit
Valid downstream from Moody Rapid (between the Deschutes River State Recreation Area campground and across the river to Heritage Landing). Purchase at the self-pay kiosks at Heritage Landing. The per person pass is required for recreation on Moody Island, Moody Rapids, and surrounding river area to Heritage Landing boat ramp. ($2/per person/per day)
Heritage to Columbia Boater Pass/Permit ​
This per person pass is required for the Heritage Landing boat ramp and Deschutes River to where the Deschutes River joins the Columbia River. Purchase at the self-pay kiosk at the Heritage Landing boat ramp ($1/per person/per day).  A $15 annual pass may be purchased online.

Aquatic Invasive Species
Oregon State Marine board requires operators of all 10 foot or longer manually powered boats to carry this permit.  This includes drift boats, kayaks, canoes, rafts, etc. 
Fishing License
Needed if fishing anywhere within the Deschutes River, regardless of whether from land or water.

What do I need if I am floating the river with 2 other people only in the area south of Moody Island Rapids and NOT using Tribal sites?
You will need 1 boater pass per person, as well as 1 Aquatic Invasive Species Permit per boat.

What does our family of 5 need to float the river and briefly stop at Harpham and Sandy beaches, ending our float prior to Moody Island Rapids?
You will need 5 Boater Passes (1 per person), 1 Tribal Permit per boat, and 1 Aquatic Invasive Species Permit per boat.

What permits do we need if we're floating the river and end our day hanging out in the Moody Island area?
You will need 1 Boater Pass per person on the float, 1 Moody Island Permit per person, and 1 Aquatic Invasive Species Permit per boat.

What do we need to float the Deschutes River from south of Moody Island Rapids to where the Deschutes River joins the Columbia River?
You will need 1 Boater Pass per person on the float, 1 Heritage to Columbia Permit per person, and 1 Aquatic Invasive Species Permit per boat.

What do I need if all I'm doing is launching from  a non-Tribal boat ramp and fishing in the Deschutes without really floating anywhere else?
You will need 1 Boater Pass per person on the watercraft, 1 Aquatic Invasive Species Permit per boat, and a Fishing License for each person fishing.

Which agencies enforce the passes and permits?
Permit inspections and land and water patrols are regularly conducted by multiple county, state, and federal law enforcement agencies.  Please abide by the rules, and have your permits ready for spot checks.

Where can I find and read all the rules and regulations?
Boater are responsible for reading and understanding the Rules and Regulations  for the Lower Deschutes River Corridor. Also, review Division 30 Scenic Waterway Rules​ and the Lower Deschutes Scenic Waterway Oregon Administrative Rules 

Who oversees the system?  

The LDRMS is managed cooperatively by representatives from: 
  • Bureau of Land Management, 
  • Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, 
  • Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, 
  • Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
  • Oregon State Marine Board
  • Oregon State Police
  • Local governments
The John Day - Snake River Resource Advisory Council and the Interagency Implementation Team  serve in an advisory role to the management group.  The Interagency Implementation Team is comprised of local, state, tribal and federal agency representatives. The LDRMS management roles and objectives are outlined in an Interagency Management Agreement and guidelines in the Lower Deschutes Management Plan and the Lower Deschutes Allocation System documents.

Agency Representatives

Bureau of Land Management
Jeff Kitchens​, Deschutes Field Office Manager

Oregon State Parks
J.R. Collier, Mountain Region Manager

Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs
Robert Brunoe, Natural Resources General Manager

Bureau of Indian Affairs
Floy (Lori) Anderson​, Superintendent

Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife
Robert Hooten, Watershed District Manager

Oregon State Police
Carl Rhodes, OSP Fish & Wildlife Supervisor

Oregon State Marine Board
Larry Warren, Director

Local Government
Scott Hege, Wasco County Commissioner
Management System Meetings

Virtual options for attending meetings will be posted.

2023 ITT Meetings

Feb. 10

Topic: Lower Deschutes River
09:30 AM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 812 5909 6405
Passcode: 835455
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Find your local number:

May 5-10 a.m.-1 p.m.
The Dalles, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Office

Possible field trip

Nov 3-10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Warm Springs Power and Water Enterprises

2023 Manager Meetings

Feb. 24-10 a.m.-1p.m.
BLM Prineville Office

May 19-10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Maupin City Hall

Possible field trip

Nov. 17-10 a.m.-1 p.m.
BLM Prineville Office

General Boater Pass Questions

Bureau of Land Management


May 1991 - A joint River Management Plan developed by Federal, State, Tribal & County Governments.
1992 - Public Comment & Response to the May 1991 River Management Plan
1993 - A BLM document that legally adopts the management plan.
1996 - Evaluation of Management actions, analysis of Permit Allocation Techniques, Proposed Lower Deschutes River Limited Entry System.
1997 - Decision on the design of the permit system, & supplements the Lower Deschutes River Management Plan in four areas.